Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bluesfest 2011: Day 5

I messed up my first Saturday at Bluesfest - I meant to get to the festival at least in time to see things but a case of extreme disorganization meant that I didn't reach LeBreton Flats until 4:20 as it happened, I managed to catch the last seconds of the first band I really wanted to see.

That would be myths, whose weird electronica and female screaming sounded quite interesting online. The bit I heard live was quite compelling too. Unfortunately I was so tardy I literally only managed to get one photograph of 50% of the act switching off her gear ... so here it is!

Myths at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Myths at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

The thought of Gospel Saturday at the Hard Rock Stage didn't tantalize, so the only other option seemed to be going back to catch the latter half of Justin Nozuka's set while waiting for Rich Aucoin. Nozuka seems like a positive thinker with a fairly mellifluous line in nu-soul, if that's your thing.

Justin Nozuka at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Justin Nozuka at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

Rich Aucoin is also a positive thinker who I gather would like everyone to get up and dance. He began his set with some big screen shout-outs to various folks, local and otherwise, before shooting off some confetti and getting the audience to shake his thing to the overwhelming bass thump generated by the MBNA Stage's speakers.

Rich Aucoin at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Rich Aucoin at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

It was a bit hard to tear myself away, but I'd heard very good things about Brooklyn's Callers and figure the chance to see Aucoin will arise before the chance to see Callers. While the trio drew a small crowd - a dozen people leaning on the barrier would be an apt description - they put on a really stellar set.  Their combination of spare guitar work and the occasional marching drum (they do hail originally from New Orleans, after all) and Sara's strong voice really cast a spell.

Callers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Callers at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

After that I returned to see The Greenhornes on the Claridge Homes Stage. I last (and first, come to think of it) saw them play on the Birdman Stage several Bluesfests ago, when they were tied in with the burgeoning Detroit garage rock scene ... the rhythm section of Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler has also worked on a few Jack White projects, such as The Raconteurs, and the band has collaborated with Holly Golightly.

The Greenhornes at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
The Greenhornes at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

After that is was time for some Coffey ... Dennis Coffey, that is. The Motown guitar king still has his wicked chops intact, but I confess that my attention started to wander after about a half-hour.

Dennis Coffey at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Dennis Coffey at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

To pass the time I went of to check out Michael Poweres on the Subway Stage; he's the sort of guy you'd see on stage back when Bluesfest was really a blues festival. He's performing again today, this time as a Jimi Hendrix tribute.

Michael Powers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Michael Powers at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

I went off to purchase a Callers CD, then went back to the Claridge Home Stage to await the arrival of Erykah Badu ... and then wait some more, since her performance was delayed by a half hour. There was some pretty enthusiastic booing before she appeared, but all was forgiven in the hot set that followed.

Erykah Badu at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Erykah Badu at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

I finished the night off at the National Bank Stage, watching M. Ward and his guitar-heavy band drawl their way through classics like Helicopter and Rave On, plus his own tunes and a Monsters Of Folk track, before wrapping things up with a very brief encore of Check Berry's Roll Over, Beethoven.

M. Ward at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
M. Ward at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 9, 2011

A really solid set that ended all too soon.
  • Show reminder: The Al Lukas Band is at The Rainbow; We Were Sharks perform at Mavericks. The Elmdale hosts Kim Koren and The Doc Weiss Band.

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